In a decision filed last week, a Monroe County Court Judge has ruled that statements the teen made to Webster police in a multi-hour video after a fatal fire on Cardile Drive in Webster Dec. 7, 2011 will be inadmissable at trial.
The trial of Webster teen Michael Pilato, accused of intentionally setting fire to his house in Webster in December 2011, killing his father and brothers, was originally set to be under way by now. The trial will now start Jan. 14, 2013.
In the meantime, Monroe County Court Judge Vincent Dinolfo filed a 17-page decision last week on which statements can be used during Pilato's murder trial.
The 15-year-old is accused of pouring gasoline inside his house on Cardile Drive in Webster on Dec. 7, 2011, and lighting it on fire. Pilato's father, Carmen and his brothers, 16-year-old Peter and 12-year-old Joshua, died in the fire. His mother and sister escaped. He is charged with murder, attempted murder and arson.
The decision ruled on two sets of statements. The first, statements Michael Pilato allegedly made to the boyfriend of his older sister, were ruled admissible.
On the other hand, statements Pilato made in a multi-hour police interview following the fire were ruled inadmissible, based on the fact that Pilato was and is a juvenile, and the law required that a parent — in this case, Pilato's mother — be notified. Police did contact the mother, who was injured in the fire, and obtained written consent to search the house, but apparently did not notify her where Michael Pilato was taken.
At a Huntley hearing, a pretrial held to determine the admissibility of certain statements, earlier this year, Nathaniel Blood, who lives with Michael Pilato’s sister, Elaina, testified.
Blood said that on the night of the fire, they received a call around 2 a.m. saying that there was a fire at the Cardile Drive home. After that phone call, Blood said they received a call from Michael Pilato, asking Blood and Elaine to meet him at Ellison Park.
When they arrived at the park, Blood said he asked Pilato if he had anything to do with the fire and Pilato said yes.
Blood says the three of them then went to Rochester General Hospital. Blood said Pilato claimed he started the fire by putting a gas can in the stove because he was mad at his father, Carmen.
Blood said Pilato was mad because Carmen allegedly told Pilato he was a disgrace to the family. Blood says Pilato claimed he was not mad at his mother.
According to Blood, Pilato said he’d rather be dead and that he didn’t want to go to jail for five to seven years. Blood said that Pilato said he wanted to go to the hospital to kill everyone, take their money and then head south in his father’s vehicle.
Pilato’s mother was in the courtroom for that hearing, but had to leave as she may be called as a witness.
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